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Van Gerwen vows Wright "always misses"

Dutchman questions rival's bottle ahead of final

By Phil Lanning

MIGHTY Michael van Gerwen says that Peter Wright always “blows up or misses” ahead of their World Championship final showdown.

The defending champion has a fearsome record against the Scot, winning all 10 of their previous televised finals before tonight at the Ally Pally.

MVG also claimed after Wright missed doubles to beat him in the Premier League and Champions League finals that he hasn’t got the “bottle” to beat him.

He blasted: “Most of the time when he plays me he blows it up or misses darts at doubles, whatever you want to call it.

“That’s a good thing for myself. I hope I can play a little bit better. We will see what is going to happen.

“Until this game I had a higher tournament average than him. Strange and he’s playing quite well everyone is saying.

“People can judge me whatever they like, I think they’ve got the right to. I’m still in the tournament and he’s worrying more about me.

“I think he knows the stats anyway, just ask him that question. We will see on January 1.

“He has to do better if he wants to beat me against me he’s not allowed to miss those doubles. I feel good.

“I don’t have to remind him about the Champions League final. He knows anyway or his wife will tell him anyway!”

When asked if he is in Wright’s head, MVG added: ““It will stay the same. I have to do the right things. He knows I’ve got a huge advantage on him, when I play him I play quite well. I don’t miss important shots, sometimes that’s key.

“I’ve beaten him so many times in the past that helps me over them years to have advantage over him.

“The longer format the more the favourite I’m going to be. I’ve not produced my best game so far, I don’t care to be fair.

“Not only the Champions League but also the Premier League and World Championship finals.

“Normally Peter Wright says on January 1 he wants to be World Champion, the No.1 in the world. But he never did it.

“People can say and do whatever they want, but they have to do it on that big stage. That’s the only thing that counts.”

Van Gerwen has yet to find his explosive top level so far in this tournament but it doesn’t seem to be worrying him ahead of the Wright showdown.

He added: “Maybe against Stephen Bunting I played close to my A game, overall I’ve not played my A game yet and that’s even more worrying for the rest.

“I don’t know probably didn’t need to play my best yet. It doesn’t matter. You play over a huge amount of sets and you need to make sure you do the right things at the right moments. Complaining after it doesn’t count.

“I think five times we went the deciding leg against Nathan Aspinall in a set and four of the five times I won so I can’t really complain.

“I get some rest to make sure I am ready for tomorrow. I got a few friends over, have some dinner tomorrow and make sure I’m ready for the first of January. No chance I’ll be up at midnight, I’ll be in my bed.”

Van Gerwen has faced two Scots in World finals - Wright and Gary Anderson - in 2014 and 2017 - and won them both. Does he like upsetting the Dartan Army as he bids to retain the title for the first time?

He said: “It’s always nice to win wherever they come from, I like to beat them. Wherever they are from I don’t really care.

“I don’t think about things like that. Retain it, not retain it, I don’t really care. I just want to win. Simple.”


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